Too Tasty

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Beautiful Artwork of Scars

I scrambled off of my bed and slammed my teacup down onto my side dresser as I searched for my phone.

Ah, here it is. I should really pick one consistent spot to put my phone. But did I ever? No.

I dialed Quinton's number and tapped my foot impatiently as I waited for him to pick up. Thank God Lincoln saved everybody's number into my phone while I was asleep.

Quinton: Yo, what's good Karina?

Me: I think that Max was framed for a fire that he didn't start.

Quinton: *quiet on the line*

Me: If you remember, Max only said that he saw a cigarette in the fryer in exchange for a chocolate bar. That means that somebody bribed him and that someone was in the kitchen with him when I was outside.

Quinton: Let's suppose that's true for a minute. Who could possibly have an enmity with the diner? And didn't anybody teach Max not to accept chocolate from strangers or suspicious persons?

Me: *snickers but then sobers up* I don't think the motive was with the diner being a problem. I think the target was me.

Quinton: Why?

Me: Why else would I be in the kitchen with Max? Knox wouldn't have checked in on me because he never comes in on Wednesdays for some reason. Think about it Quinton. I was the one who ended up putting the fires out...but what if I didn't get out of the diner in time? I would've died.

Quinton: Okay, there's some logic behind that. But it's still sketchy.

Me: I know so here's my theory. Max said that he was talking to his cousin brother before the fire started so what if that's our perpetrator?

Quinton: Alright, I'm going to go see Max in a couple of hours before stopping by at the diner. It's still being rebuilt but once you're off meds, you definitely have a job at Too Tasty.

Me: Thanks for taking me seriously Quinton.

Quinton: You got it. Let me know if you need anything.

Quinton hung up and I sighed in relief. At least there's a chance that Max is innocent. I really hope that somebody fooled him because I missed being around him. He was such a goof.

Max will prove himself to be innocent based on his own craziness.

My chest still burned if I tried to go jogging so that was out of the question. What else can I do except mope around?

I wasn't in the mood to do anything except sulk. I hated the scars on my neck and back to the point where I didn't even wear my hair in a bun or buy backless dresses.

The only time I could be myself was on Halloween where everybody complimented me on the beautiful artwork of my scars.

Too bad it wasn't artwork. It was real and my scars were gruesome. I still remembered screaming in pain as my father carved up my body with a kitchen knife. All because I'd worn a "revealing dress" that exposed too much of my legs.

He'd made sure that I'd never feel comfortable in my own skin again. The funny thing was that despite all of the horrid things he'd done to my family, he was kind to everybody else.

He helped people out by giving them food or a ride home when they needed it. He even donated money to charities and pulled up at family events to help his friends who were new immigrants.

If only he had been kind to me.

Wishful thinking.

My phone started buzzing and pulled me out of my thoughts.

Oh! It's from Tyler!!! I haven't heard from him in a while. I wonder what's up.

I picked up the phone call as I walked towards my kitchen to start baking banana bread.

Banana bread would make me happy. It was so delicious and had a tasty aroma.

Tyler: Hey Kari, you've been ghosting on me. You should've used my number when you needed a ride to Connecticut. You almost got kidnapped and I found out two days later? The Hell Karina?! How come I found out that there was a fire at the diner from my brother?

I cringed at his words as I started preparing yeast and pulling out the ingredients I needed. He was on speakerphone so it was easy for me to talk and bake.

Me: I'm sorry Tyler but I had just met you. I didn't know if I could trust you. I know it's hypocritical of me to trust Lincoln, the guy who me a ride that night but still. I didn't have many options at the time. He was there and I needed help. Quinton's your brother?!

Tyler: *laughs* No, Knox is my brother and he told me that you were mixed up with some questionable people. He didn't mention your life story so don't worry, I'm not going to pry. I'm on lunch break right now. So spill the beans about the fire.

Me: Well, remember Windex Boy? He got himself into trouble and allegedly started a fire. But I don't believe that he did because he acted like another person was there in the kitchen when in reality, only him and I were watching over the diner.

Tyler: Oh jeez. As if tracing doodles into Windex and causing you to recreate a Home Alone scene wasn't enough.

I laughed as I mashed bananas in a bowl. Time to start kneading the dough.

Me: Well, that's Max for you. I met Quinton and we had an interesting discussion about Max's adventures. In any case, I still believe that Max is innocent. He's more of a little kid than he is a maniacal killer.

Tyler: Maybe but you've only known the guy for a short amount of time. How can you be sure?

Me: I've learned to trust my instincts. I feel that he didn't do it. And I know that I can't prove it yet but Quinton's working on getting to the bottom of it.

Tyler: For your sake, I hope you're right.

Me: What have you been up to?

Tyler: I've been working and so has Knox. He's been busy with Quinton at his security firm job. I drove out to Too Tipsy bar a couple times for a drink but overall, that's about it. Speaking of which, I called you for a reason. In a couple of days, the renovated diner will be opening up soon and the anniversary gala is coming up.

Me: And?

Finally, the dough was ready to be placed into the pan. I sprayed some butter onto it so the dough wouldn't stick. The oven beeped and I placed the pan into it. Only half an hour before I have some scrumptious banana bread.

Maven and Teela would be so happy. They loved my baked treats.

Tyler: And since you're our head chef, you should be there next to Quinton and Mario to celebrate the diner's success.

Me: Does that mean I need to go dress shopping?

Tyler: Yep, unless you already have a formal dress. I can help you if you'd like.

Me: I'd love that. You have good taste.

Tyler: Awesome, so tomorrow, I'll pick you up at 10 am sharp. Text me your address and I'll be there.

Me: Will do.

Tyler: By the way, stop moping around Kari. It's time for you to let the past go and move forward.

Me: *shocked that he knows me so well*

Tyler: Live a little woman! I'll even invite Lincoln and his family to the event. That way you'll have some familiar faces at the gala. Tell Maven and Teela to buy their gowns too.

Me: Awesome, I can't wait Ty. Thanks.

Tyler: See you soon.

I smiled and hung up. This is actually so cool and it'll make Teela so happy when she realizes it's time to blow some cash. She loves to shop.

Sometimes I wonder how Maven hasn't filed for bankruptcy.

Teela is an obsessive shopper who just doesn't stop.

Maven has a lot of patience.

I envy that.

I laughed as I remembered how Maven didn't bat an eye when Teela refused to go to a new school in Connecticut. She just waited for Teela to finish expressing herself before stating her final verdict. It was a compromise of Teela getting an allowance to shop in exchange for going to school for the first month of school.

Now that's diplomatic prowess.

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